Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Love Letter to JJ Abrams

Dear JJ,

Four years ago, you made a film that showed such tremendous potential, it was nearly heartbreaking. Super 8 provided one hour of nostalgic, pure and euphoric entertainment before devolving into an hour of mind-numbing contemporary Hollywood monster movie theatrics. Had the full film lived up to the promise of that first hour – oh, what could have been!

Of course there are spoilers, silly!!
So when I heard it announced that you had accepted the role of writing and directing Episode VII despite your very legitimate reservations about the franchise’s cultural significance, my heart leapt with possibility. Sadly, in the intervening timeframe, I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness and possibility turned to panic. But I remained optimistic nonetheless, as it certainly couldn’t be worse than the prequels…

Could it..?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

SPECTRE: Or, a franchise in peril

I sat there at the conclusion of the opening pre-credits sequence, numb and confused. “What did I just watch?” Sam Mendes is a ‘serious filmmaker’ and thus he tried to do something impressive by starting the film with a nearly unbroken take taking us through the crowded streets of Mexico on the Day of the Dead (I’m guessing there’s a break somewhere we can’t see). In the process, he created something that I believe is a first for the Bond series: a suspenseless opening salvo. The only suspense here was in the waiting for something to actually get excited about, which never materialized. I had been eagerly anticipating this film for months, even more so when Christoph Waltz’s casting was announced. But less than fifteen minutes in, I was already having serious doubts. Then as the credits rolled, those doubts got much, much worse.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Anticipating Spectre: Brosnan Revisionists

There is a peculiar movement of historical revisionism afoot. People are unable to accurately remember things that happened within the last two decades, and instead spin them to whatever ends they feel best suits their chosen perspective. I’m not talking politics here, I am talking something far more important. Would James Bond still be a viable cinematic property were it not for Pierce Brosnan?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Anticipating Spectre: The best James Bond Theme songs

I sat down to revisit the Brosnan films as a warm-up for this week’s release of Spectre. In doing so, I was reminded painfully of one of the worst periods in Bond theme music. In my teenaged years, I carried with me a cassette of 13 original James Bond themes and cherished listening to them all – the good and the bad. It is hard to fathom first of all that there have been ten more films since I owned that cassette. Harder to fathom is the mere idea that I could even stomach listening to such a compilation today. Let’s face it, a few of the more recent entries in the canon have missed the mark, but fewer still have achieved the lasting legacy that many of those of the bygone Moore/Connery era hold. So I figured, why not rank them all, worst to first, with category rankings to group them. And I'll let you know where I rank the latest some time after Friday. ;)